All criminals are evil masterminds who know exactly what they’re getting themselves into, at least, that’s how crime dramas paint those who break the law. The reality is that some people who find themselves being accused of criminal activity had no idea that what they were doing was illegal. To substantiate this claim, we will talk about three crimes you didn’t know where federal offenses.
Three Crimes You Didn’t Know Were Federal Offenses
1. Save the Trees!
According to 18 USC § 1865, it is illegal to willfully destroy, cut, break, injure, or remove any tree, shrub, or plant within a national military park. Based on this law, if your kid gets bored while visiting the Gettysburg National Cemetery and willfully breaks a stick off a bush (thus, “injuring” the plant), he could face a mandatory 15-day imprisonment and a fine of $10 for injuring the federally protected foliage.
2. Ferocious Fido
According to 36 C.F.R § 2.15 (a)(2), it is illegal to not physically restrain your pet when visiting any national park. Therefore, if you're taking a trip to the Grand Canyon your dog must always be on a leash while within park boundaries; otherwise, you're violating federal law.
If you thought that was ridiculous, it only gets worse. According to 36 C.F.R § 2.15 (a)(4), your pet (regardless of their confined situation) cannot, “make noise that is unreasonable considering location, time of day or night, impact on park users, and other relevant factors.” Additionally, your pet cannot, “make noise that frightens wildlife by barking, howling, or making other noise.” Based on this law, if your dog barks at a squirrel that frantically scurries off as a result of your dog’s bark, you are violating federal law.
According to 27 CFR §4.64(a)(8), winemakers cannot advertise wine in a manner that suggests it has intoxicating qualities. Apparently, it’s essential that we keep people from knowing that drinking wine makes them drunk, as if that wasn’t obvious.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey into the minds and laws of the United States government. Have a great day, and make sure your children don’t injure any trees!